The lesson is this.
Replicate to accelerate.
Let me explain….
In our hyper connected world information and skills are mashed into one crazy, hectic soup.
Nothing is entirely new; everything influences everything else.
If you want to travel to Guatemala and build a school that teaches entrepreneurship theres a solid chance that someone, somewhere is already doing it.
This is good news.
It means you can craft the ‘How to Manual’ for your dreams..
..leverage from someone else’s timely mistakes and catapult yourself to a greater expression of the original idea.
But here is the rub. You must find your voice.
How do you replicate & find your own voice?
You start by copying.
This seems like a crazy idea, but let me give you 3 examples that have literally saved me years.
1. I learned to code by copying and pasting source text into my laptop.
Teaching myself to code became the launchpad for my career in Advertising.
I would find design elements from websites I liked, copy them and then blend them with my own code. The end product became original; through this process of copy and blend.
Over time my design capacity became less influenced as my personal style became stronger.
2. Before launching my workshop series I studied teachers I loved.
I watched YouTube videos of TED speakers, and teachers that I loved, pulling apart the subtle techniques they were using to engage their audience.
3. I reference thought leaders in my work.
When I teach a new topic I refer to thought leaders in the field. I make sure to reference any direct work and lead from my own insights.
For example I love Simon Sinek’s work on ‘Finding the Why’. When I teach this concept I reference him directly and point others to his work. I do blend my own teaching with it, elaborating on his original concept with my personal extension.
How to Replicate Right
- Think of what you want to replicate as a foundation only.
- Use multiple sources and take elements from each. Direct copying of one person verbatim is not cool. Think multidisciplinary. This will help you find your niche.
- Learn from their mistakes first. This is how you massively speed up a learning curve. This is not always possible but do your sleuthing and see what you can find.
- Research, research, research. Learn as if you have to teach it. The more you have filed away the more your ideas and creativity generate from originality.
- Pay homage. If you’re using someone as an influence.. credit them. Do this right and it will benefit you and the person you are crediting.
- Be a good human. If you cross a line, make amends quickly and do what you can to right the wrong.